Jawan faints on tower, finally brought down

After staying up a telecom tower near New Delhi railway station for an astonishing five days, Army jawan K Muthu lost consciousness on Tuesday. He was brought down at 10.30 am by fire officials and taken to Army Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment. Hospital authorities said there was no danger to his life and that he would be kept under observation for a few days.

"We saw that Muthu was not moving in the morning and sent officers up to check on him. At 9 am, he was found unconscious with a very low pulse but his vital organs were responding. We then decided to bring him down immediately. As there was a 20-foot gap between the hydraulic ladder and the ramp he was lying on, fire officials climbed up, tied him to a harness and brought him down. He was put into a waiting Army ambulance and rushed to the hospital," said Dr Kanti Sharma, Deputy Chief Fire Officer.

The 35-year-old from Kovilpatty village in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin district said he had come to the city with the intention of mounting the tower. Starting Friday afternoon, Muthu had camped 120 feet above ground, refusing to eat food sent to him and drinking very little water.

He refused to come down until Defence Minister A K Antony addressed his grievances. In a five-page letter to his commanding officer that he shared with Newsline, he had alleged that he was not granted adequate leave when his father had passed away last year and when his wife gave birth to their first child.

On both occasions, he had taken unsanctioned leave. Upon his return, he alleged that he had to take a pay cut and senior officers harassed him.

In his letter, he also claimed that he had won the gold medal in weightlifting at the 2002 Army games but following that victory, his commanding officer did not allow to continue the sport in spite of him enlisting in the Army through the sports quota.

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